The Minister of Sugar Industry Development, Lakshman Senewirathne visited Cuba from 31st May to 02nd June 2014 accompanied by the Chairman of the Sugarcane Research Institute of Sri Lanka.
The visit was primarily focused on promoting mutually beneficial collaboration and opportunities in sugarcane cultivation practices, management of plantations, technology transfer, sharing of knowledge & expertise, new varieties & cultivars, pest & disease control, value addition, exchange of planting material & experts etc., among other areas of interest to both countries.
At official talks with the Chairman of AZCUBA Group, the Government owned corporation managing Cuba’s sugar industry, Orlando Celo Garcia Ramrez, Minister Senewirathne emphasized the significant steps taken by Sri Lanka to develop and modernize the sugarcane industry in Sri Lanka aimed at meeting the local demand for sugar and making it a profitable venture.
Elaborating on the need to strengthen bilateral & multilateral frameworks of sugar producing countries, the Minister appreciated Cuba’s support and assistance for the development of sugarcane industries of like-minded countries, including Sri Lanka.
The Chairman of AZCUBA on his part welcomed the Sri Lankan Minister and accompanying officials to Cuba and assured his fullest support and cooperation to Sri Lanka. Both sides also agreed to implement the decisions taken at the meeting, including the signing of an MOU and exploring ways and means of helping each other with a view to harnessing resources at their disposal for the benefit of the two countries.
During their stay, the Sri Lankan delegation also visited sugar cane plantations, advanced R & D facilities, high tech production & processing centers and gained a first-hand knowledge and experience of the Cuban sugarcane industry and facilities.